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Topic: Robot Suggestion (Read 2362 times) previous topic - next topic


I'm thinking about getting a robot to play around with, but I'm not sure what to get. I have worked with lego NXT before, and I am sort of looking for something like that but with more "open-source-ness."
I would like to be able to use an arduino or atmega w/ bootloader, and program it in the arduino environment.

I was looking at the 3? robot, but I want something that can do anything (3pi is mainly for line following).
I have also looked the Rover 5 platform (looks nice) but I can find any documentation on it (any links available?).

And of course I want to be able to power the robot w/ batteries (preferably AA rechargeable, but any type will do).



How to read the quadrature encoders: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/24031
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Fair enough. Would you recommend that?


And on a side note:

I want to be able to remotely control the robot through another arduino. What radio would you recommend? Xbee's? Nordic? Bluetooth?


Ok, this suggestion is a little... off.

I'd have a shot building myself the robot. You can learn far more that way. Of course, it will be more expensive and you'll probably have a hard time finding some parts. So before trying, have a look at the parts that are available around your area to build your robot. ;)  But, it would be as open as it can get.
Or, you can, choose a good hackable platform. I have no idea about that, though.

As for control, there are plenty of motor drivers and the motor you are using will be important to decide on the type of controller. For feedback, the tutorial is quite good. It tells you what it does. Sadly I am yet to find a dedicated chip that counts the pulses regarding the direction. Imagine a microcontroller with a SPI or I2C interface, and if you run 3000 counts to the right, the chip will tell you you had 3000 counts, if you then run 1000 to the left, it will tell you that you have 2000 counts.

This is possible in the Arduino, but only by using interrupts... which isn't elegant enough for my taste. :(
This... is a hobby.


I'm not interested in making my own... the Rover 5 looks good. Any ideas on radios?


Have you thought about Gordon McComb's ArdBot?:


Full disclosure: He recently sent me one (I plan on reviewing it in more detail on my website at a future time). From what I can see, it's a very inexpensive chassis ($14.95 USD) made from sheet PVC that comes with all the chassis parts needs (plus wheels) - you supply servos, battery pack, sensors, Arduino, breadboard, other stuff. Not a bad way to get into budget "desktop" robotics, actually.

His site, Budget Robotics, also sells other parts, such as extra "decks" and standoffs to make the robot as custom as you want. The ArdBot has been featured in a series of articles Gordon has written for Servo Magazine (starting in November 2010):


Mr. McComb is the well-known author of the book "Robot Builder's Bonanza" - which is soon to be released in a fourth edition run (I encourage you, though, to try to obtain the previous editions as well - not only are they that good, but the older editions contain information that has been culled from or shortened in later editions due to a variety of factors - but it is still very good information to have on hand, in my opinion).

It's another option to consider, at least.

BTW - as another suggestion, why not interface your Arduino to your LEGO NXT? It's been done (though there really needs to be a shield or something made to make it simpler for beginners, I think)...?


I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


I don't have an NXT, only at school. And I don't have motors, wheels, encoders, etc, so it may not be as "cheap" as possible.

I think I have settled on the Rover 5.

***Any suggestions for wireless radio?***



I remember seeing somewhere a robot that had the controller, driver and sensors all "cooked" in the base of the robot. Meaning, that the base of the robot (where the motors are placed) was a PCB with the base for the robot. This is a nice aproach, since it takes all the burden of getting the electronics right. You can start on the programming straight away.
This... is a hobby.


But do you remember what it was called?


Sadly no. :(

I've seen that base first in like 1998 or so. Then within the last year or so, I've seen another robot with the same design that reminded me of it. 
This... is a hobby.

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